How to Find the Right LPN Program in Branchton Pennsylvania
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Branchton PA that will furnish the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different tasks that they accomplish in the Branchton PA health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Pennsylvania. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being governed by each state, the Branchton PA healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials available in Pennsylvania that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Branchton PA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Branchton PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Branchton PA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Branchton PA area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Branchton PA as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Branchton PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Pennsylvania schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Branchton PA school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Branchton PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Branchton PA area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Pennsylvania require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Branchton PA area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Training Branchton 16021
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Branchton PA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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